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Beach Volleyball Season Starts

Nebraska’s Beach Volleyball team opens the season at Park University

Olympics: Beach Volleyball
Former Nebraska player Sarah Pavan blocks
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Beach volleyball has similarities to indoor volleyball, of course, but there are significant differences in rules and strategies you should know. First, games are played between representatives of two (doubles) players from each school. Second, the games are played to 21 points, versus 25 for indoor.

What’s interesting is that the entire school’s team competes as a whole for the cumulative score (similar to tennis scoring in college). So when Lauren Stivrins and Nicklin Hames play together as a doubles team, their outcome vs. Park University adds to Kenzie Knuckles and Nicole Drewnick’s result vs. Park University to achieve the overall team results.

I don’t know who the doubles partners are for the Huskers this season. Last season they were paired with improvement and relationship building as the priority. Stivrins and Hames as partners last season improved their connection for the indoor season.

It doesn’t look like we will get to watch much Husker beach volleyball this year as many of the venues are “closed to public” on the schedule. The beach championship is on ESPN, but it isn’t likely Nebraska will be in the championship this year.

The top 10 for Beach Volleyball as voted on by the coaches is:

  1. UCLA
  2. Florida State
  3. LSU
  4. Southern California
  5. Hawaii
  6. Pepperdine
  7. Cal Poly
  8. Loyola Marymount
  9. Stetson
  10. Florida International

Beach volleyball started as an NCAA sport with a championship award in 2016. The championship hosts eight teams. Seven conferences sponsor beach volleyball, the Big Ten isn’t one of them. Those conferences are:

  1. Atlantic Sun
  2. Big West
  3. Coastal Collegiate Sports Association
  4. Ohio Valley Conference
  5. Pac-12
  6. Southland Conference
  7. West Coach Conference

At Nebraska, the roster for the beach volleyball team looks just like the indoor roster. Some programs around the country have two different programs with a coach each and mostly different rosters. Nebraska runs the beach program as an extension of the indoor team. Let’s call it Spring Training. Coach Cook’s comments leads us to believe this is a chance for the players to improve for the indoor team, with the ultimate goal an indoor championship.

Beach Volleyball is still a fast changing sport in the world of NCAA. Rules are changing, funding is changing and the way each school approaches this newish NCAA is still changing. I’ll keep learning with you because many part of this sport are still a mystery to me!